When we are put under pressure, for example, by having unreasonable demands placed on us, our natural reaction in response to the hormones rushing through our bodies, is either to get ready to fight or to run away, often referred to as the fight-flight syndrome. Neither of these is an acceptable behaviour in today's workplace, or indeed at home, so these natural tendencies have been replaced by what we term aggressive and submissive behaviours.
Over time, as we develop coping strategies for dealing with stressful situations. We learn that if receiving an unreasonable request, getting angry or moody causes the other person to back off and leave us alone. Alternatively, if we simply say yes, they also go away. However, neither approach works in the long term. In the former situation, we risk conflict with the possibility of damaging relationships, while in the latter case we, we end up with a piece of work we didn’t want and the possibility of lasting resentment towards the person who gave it to us.
Assertiveness, on the other hand, is all about standing up for your rights whilst allowing others to do the same. It is a way of letting others know your feelings and requirements without offending the other person, allowing you to preserve relationships and avoiding resentment. However, while fight-flight behaviours are a natural, unconscious response to stressful situations, by contrast, assertiveness is a conscious, learned response. Hence the need for training.
This programme looks at ways in which we can become more assertive in our everyday lives. It includes a pre-workshop assignment asking you to identify and reflect on situations you find challenging, and a highly participative one-day workshop, working with your own examples, that provides both the tools for and practice in becoming more assertive.
The aims of the programme are to provide participants with the knowledge, skills and confidence to apply assertiveness techniques whenever faced with situations that otherwise might lead to conflict, damaged relationships or resentment.
Pre-Workshop Assignment Content